In 1990, Richard L. Diasio saw a need for a road course in Indiana that was devoted to club racers. With a strategic vision and intense focus, plans began to fall into place to fulfill this need.
Putnam Park was constructed in 1991 on 202 rolling acres 35 miles west of Indianapolis. The track opened Labor Day weekend with kart racing hosted by the Indianapolis Kart Club.
Diasio designed the Putnam Park Road Course to be safe, fast and challenging. He wanted to build a circuit that could be viewed in its entirety from the pits, immersing both participants and the crew in the action at all times. The Indianapolis Corvette Club, the Hoosier Chapter of the BMW Car Club of America, and Track Time Performance Driving School were among the first to utilize our innovative track.
In this same year, the Central Indiana Region chapter of the Porsche Club of America conducted a driving school under the direction of Diasio. On Friday, October 4, 1991, the first day of the driving school, it rained so hard that the dirt paddock (not yet paved!) turned into a sea of mud. Anyone trying to get from the gravel entry road to the paved pits got stuck! Richard and his son Chris rescued the event by buying every available plywood sheet from local hardware stores and laying them end to end leading to the pits. What started off as a nightmarish weekend ended with a mostly novice group of drivers having a wonderful time learning how to drive their high-performance cars on a real race track.
The five clubs who first used Putnam Park in 1991 have come each year since.
Putnam Park has undergone many improvements since opening in 1991. Over 1,200 linear feet of guardrail has been removed, ground has been graded to provide additional runoff room and gravel traps have been added in areas to enhance safety. In 1997, the entire track was repaved, curbing was widened by 4 feet in all areas and painted red and white for increased visibility.
Many more changes are planned for the Putnam Park Road Course. We hope you will join us as we move forward into an era of change and development.